Thomson has appointed Tim Sarnoff as president of its Technicolor Digital Productions division. This new division, within the Technicolor Business Group, will focus on the company's expertise in animation, games and visual effects. Its mission will be to develop Technicolor's animation operations in Bangalore and VFX operations in Beijing, as well as under the MPC brand in London, Los Angeles and Vancouver, into centers of excellence and growth.
Giorgio Stock has been promoted to exec VP and managing director, Disney Channels, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and will lead The Walt Disney Company's portfolio of kid-focused, family inclusive television channels including Disney Channel, Playhouse Disney, Disney XD and Cinemagic, in the territory. He will also serve as a Disney representative on the board of SRTL, Disney's joint venture with RTL Group.
Cookie Jar Ent. has named Jamie Waese Head of Current Programming. Reporting to Pam Slavin, VP, Head of Production, he will handle all creative elements of the company's prolific production slate.
For the past four years, Waese has worked as a writer, producer and director for Cookie Jar Entertainment. He wrote, produced and directed three seasons of THE DOODLEBOPS, wrote and co-directed Doodlebops Live!, and produced and co-directed GOTTA CATCH SANTA CLAUS, Cookie Jar's first Christmas special starring William Shatner as the voice of Santa Claus.
Vfx vet Jenny Fulle reports on how the global economic slowdown will affect the industry and force innovation and reinvention.
Craig E. Engler has been promoted to SVP and GM, SCIFI Digital, and will continue to report to Dave Howe, president, Sci Fi Channel. Craig previously served as SVP, SciFi.com and SCI FI MAGAZINE.
At this year's KidScreen in New York, Heather Kenyon surveyed the participants on how they're surviving the recession and what we all should do to keep the animation industry afloat.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are set to leave Universal Pictures, per VARIETY, and will have a first-look deal at Columbia Pictures that starts April 1.
The frequent Steven Spielberg collaborators, who started their company in 1991, will be at Columbia for an 18-month term. Their last Universal film was THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM.
Sesame Workshop will cut 20 percent of its workforce, another victim of the recession, according to VARIETY.
The nonprofit producer of SESAME STREET and other educational programming will eliminate 67 of its 355 positions.
Sesame debuted the still-running SESAME STREET in 1968 and recently premiered a remake of their popular 1970s series THE ELECTRIC COMPANY.
After our in-depth making of coverage, the Watchmen director discusses bringing the landmark graphic novel to the screen.
3ality Digital, a developer of advanced live-action 3D entertainment technologies, has named Gari Ann Douglass to the post of Chief Operating Officer.
MPC has signed award-winning colorist Paul Harrison to their team. Complimenting the talents of Jean-Clement Soret, Mark Gethin, George K and Kenny Gibb, Harrison joins as Senior Colorist. The team sheet includes some of the most highly respected international colorists and is lead by Jean-Clement Soret who graded Danny Boyle's multiple Oscar-winning SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.
Director Steve Chase, a top talent in the U.S. ad industry who has directed commercials for some of the world's most iconic brands and major ad agencies, has signed with Curious Pictures for commercial representation. A nominee for the DGA Award for commercial directing, and with a spot in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Chase joins Curious from Go Film.
To screen Chase's work, go to http://www.curiouspictures.com/reels/chasesteve_dir_reelh264.html.
Concept Illustrator Scott Lukowski discusses his experiences on Watchmen and some other high profile movies.
LAIKA, the Portland-based animation studio whose first feature film, CORALINE, was released by Focus Features on February 6, has announced that Travis Knight has been named President and CEO of the company. Knight, the son of LAIKA's owner Philip H. Knight, succeeds Dale Wahl, who has held the position since 2005. Travis Knight, who sits on the LAIKA Board and has been Head of Animation since 2007, was one of the lead animators on CORALINE, the first stop-motion animated feature film to be produced in 3-D.
Rob Segal and Kobi Ofir will join the WorldGaming as chief marketing officer and chief technology officer, respectively. Both Segal and Ofir will fill their positions immediately and join company co-founders Billy Levy, President, and Zack Zeldin, VP, as the company prepares for launch this spring.
WorldGaming will be an online destination for console gamers to network and challenge other players from around the world in tournaments for real money.
Robert Mitchell, SVP and managing director of The Walt Disney Company's U.K. operations, has left the company, effective immediately, according to VARIETY.
Daniel Frigo will replace Mitchell and will continue his former job as exec VP and GM of Disney's Europe, Middle East and Africa operations. Mitchell had been with Disney since 1991, and representatives declined comment on his departure.
Tweak Software, developers of RV, the image and sequence viewer for animation and visual effects, have hired visual effects industry veteran Alan Trombla. Trombla, who has worked at all levels of visual effects and digital animation production from writing software and managing large engineering teams to lighting shots and leading CG productions, joins Tweak Software as Director of Product Development.
DECODE Ent. President Steven DeNure will become president and chief operating officer of DHX Media. His duties will include overseeing operations across all of the company's divisions. In addition DeNure will oversee the three kid-focused production units as well as DECODE Enterprises, the company's distribution division. His mandate will include increasing the synergies across the three entities, including the development, financing, production and support functions.
Diego Lerner has been named president, The Walt Disney Company, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Activision Blizzard has appointed Thibaud de Saint-Quentin as SVP and managing director of European Publishing, where he will oversee the company's regional strategy and long-term growth initiatives.
Thibaud, who joins the company as of March 9, 2009, will be based out of its European headquarters in the U.K., Stockley Park office and will report to Brian Hodous, Activision Blizzard's chief customer officer.
Headlight, the New York-based VFX, design and animation studio, has hired Steve Holiner as its new exec producer. Holiner is an industry veteran with more than 10 years experience working on commercials for top clients, including McCann, BBDO, JWT, Ogilvy, and Saatchi Healthcare. His lengthy resume includes Super Bowl spots for GE, Pepsi, Lay's and FedEx.
Vancouver Film School graduate Yaniv Friedman has joined the busy design and branding firm, Trace Pictures, as full time designer/animator.
"Our first intro to Yaniv's work was a short film we saw on Motionographer called A BRIEF GUIDE ABOUT BRIDESMAIDS, explains Daniel Luna, Associate Creative Director at Trace. "His work was unique -- we saw some serious talent and we wanted to work with him."